Simulating non-skid tread

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Ralph W. Andres described an easy way to simulate non-skid steps in the article "Not-so-Crummy Whistle", Modeltec, August 1995.

The prototype's platforms and steps all had anti-skid surfaces. Here was another challenge, which was met by cutting aluminum screen to the required size and epoxying it to the sheet steel surfaces. I used the epoxy very sparingly, to keep from filling the voids between the mesh in the screen. When it had cured, I filed any protruding ends flush. Then, epoxy resin was mixed with some micro-balloons, to a thick, creamy consistency, and painted on the step and platform surfaces. Before it had time to set, I took a squeegee and wiped off excess material so that only the tops of the weave were visible. If you want to try this, remember that the part must be kept horizontal to prevent runoff. As you can see in the photo this method does a very nice job of simulating anti-skid tread material. Micro-balloons can be bought at certain hobby shops or from the manufacturer, West Systems Brand, Gougeon Brothers, Inc., Bay City, Michigan. The material is called Microlight 410.
Ralph W. Andres' screen wire, epoxy and micro-balloon method of simulating non-skid tread plate for steps. Modeltec, August 1995.